How to start a business with no capital

Ailene Amaro
Aug 4, 2020
How to start a business with no capital

Do you have a business idea but no capital to make it happen? You indeed need more than your initial capital to start a business. You’ll need more extra money to back your budding business up. This is especially true for businesses that involve products or expensive services.

If you’re committed to starting your brand and monetizing your idea, then all you’ll need is time and a strategic plan to do that! Here are a few notes to help you build a business without cash.

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Don’t quit your day job. Get another job, even!

You can’t simply trust fall to business and think it can pay next month’s rent immediately. Yes, starting a business is a risk that constantly needs money. Be practical. You can use the fact that you have a steady income to your advantage. You can save your salaries as initial capital to fund your business.

When needed, get hustling! Work longer hours or get a side job. In your free time, you can create online content. It can be a personal vlog, but that will also take time to earn money from ads. It can be a written blog for someone else with immediate payment. You can create digital art for commissions. You can hustle from your own home, and the opportunities are endless!

A beautiful asian business woman is working with her computer

Build your safety net – at least 6 months’ worth of living expenses

Again, practicality before anything. The first few months’ profits of your business will be spent as reinvestment – for new material, ingredients, or maintenance. It will take you a few months to take some of that profit for yourself. Before you can fully commit to your business, make sure you have something for the next few months first. That plus your business funds should be enough for you to finally quit your job and focus on the business.

Survey your market

You, as a new entrepreneur, probably don’t want another business that’s “just another” bakery or “just another” salon. Building a brand means having something unique. But this also means an unestablished market. How are you sure the business you’re building is interesting enough to gain customers? If it’s not too unique, how sure are you that customers will swap you for their suki?

These questions are a reason to test the waters. If you’re selling a delicacy, have a trial run. Take it to market for a free taste and ask people how likely it is that they’ll buy your product when launched. If it’s a service, create an online poll or survey in exchange for gift checks and vouchers for your service. Find a way to know how many customers you can acquire. This will allow you to project earnings for the first few months of your business.

Once you start your business, occasionally test new products or services, and adjust accordingly to the market’s response. After all, it’s your customers funding your brand.

What can you do or learn to do for free?

It’s important to prioritize your expenses. It helps you organize your funds from what you can have now to what you can save for later. Start with cheap and easy ones and build your way down the list.

For example, if you need to promote your business, you don’t need to spend money you don’t have for online marketing! Learn how to create a Facebook page. You don’t even need your own paid website nowadays. Learn Facebook advertising and use it when you can afford to pay for ads. In the meantime, ask your social network to like and promote your page.

If you’re saving towards having a physical store, you can start as an online store through Shopee, Lazada, or Facebook Marketplace. You can have family and friends buy your product and even resell them for you. Take advantage of free networking. Make sure to give them incentives, such as a share in profit or a token, so they’ll be willing to help again next time.

If you need expensive equipment that can be bought as second-hand, then do so! You can get whatever you need online these days. Look for the best prices without compromising the quality of the machine. Make sure to test before buying, and that you know how to maintain it. It can be as simple as cleaning it or changing filters every month. Learn how to do it yourself instead of paying for help.

Woo that rich tito to invest in your business

You can finally knock on other doors that all is said and done on your part. If you still need additional business funds beyond what you can provide, it’s time to look for investors. First off, family. Now it’s harder to borrow money from family because of unpayable utang na loob, but family is more lenient and forgiving when you can’t pay in time.

If still necessary, consider a small bank loan for more funds. Take this as the last option because banks will never be as lenient as a family when it comes to interest loans. In addition to interest, banks also have penalties and inconvenience fees. The list goes on. It won’t be the first time a bank closes a small business, so tread lightly.

Lack of money shouldn’t stop you from achieving your entrepreneurial dream. It should motivate you to exhaust all your other resources – from your skills to your social network. A good entrepreneur should see opportunities all around and know how to use them wisely.

Make sure to grow your passion for enterprise and your confidence in your brand. That’s undoubtedly the main ingredient in building a successful business.

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